The TES online forums are a hotbed of debate. Here is just a taste of what users are saying this week.
Join the discussion at: www.tes.co.ukstaffroom
HIGHS AND LOWS OF PENSIONS
I read my NUT Teacher magazine this morning and was delighted to see that my pension would be safeguarded if I wanted to retire at 60. Hurray! Ten minutes later I looked at the front page of the Observer and found it would be raised to 67 instead! Doh!
There are public-sector jobs in which people can chunter along to their late sixties, but teaching isn't one of them. Nobody dares say that the sensible thing for teachers is to be thrifty so that they can retire in their early fifties. They dare not say it because that would stop the "growth god" right in its tracks.
I have some sympathy with the private sector, while accepting that teaching is too demanding at 67. Gordon Brown is to blame. He robbed private funds of pound;5 billion per year and he has filled the public sector with bureaucrats who get in the way of front-line delivery. Of course, all these LEA officers and assorted sycophants have full pension rights.
FULL-SERVICE EXTENDED SCHOOLS
There are no such schools locally.
Pilot only just starting round here so effects not yet known.
I have put my name down to give birth to children so their mothers don't have to take any more time out of their busy lives.
A lot of parents will use it as an excuse to have their children off their hands for longer. They should be at home, not under the wing of the nanny state.
A recent job spec for principal of a new academy made it clear that the hours were until 9pm, as this was expected to be a full-service extended school. It wouldn't be only the principal who would be working the longer hours.
DO YOU BUY CHRISTMAS PRESENTS FOR TEACHERS YOU WORK WITH?
I work with one teacher and I buy her a present. We have a great working relationship.
One of my fellow TAs makes treacle-toffee with her children and gives a few pieces, prettily wrapped, to members of staff. It's one of my favourite presents.